“[Deliverance] came to you from your own seeking, on your own path, through thinking, through meditation, through knowledge, through illumination… no one is granted deliverance through a teaching!” Herman Hesse, Siddhartha
I am an advice giver.
I want to fix everyone’s problems, and when I can’t, I want to give them the tools to do it themselves.
Often these tools are smiled at and shoved under the bed while my advisee plunges straight back into the eye of the problem. I’m left hitting the End button on my phone asking the nearest person, “Why do they do that? Why don’t they listen? I’ve been there! I’ve done that! If they would just LISTEN!”
This happens over and over again, especially with a good of friend of mine in 11th grade.
I’ve done the high school thing: I get it. It was only a few years ago that I was drudging through the high school slough, wondering why I wasn’t popular, why I couldn’t be more like my flamboyant, seemingly “perfect” best friend. It’s tough!
Nothing seemed to go right in high school. I never enjoyed it, and I ended up transferring to online school my junior year. But on the other side I have all the advice in the world to give about it, because I’ve stepped into the light of graduation and honestly realized IT GETS BETTER!
Oh my goodness, the cliché, but it does! It really does.
I’ve been through the body hate, the personality hate, the overall hate for myself. I’ve been through losing my closest and dearest friends, wondering why boys don’t like me, accepting that I’m gay. I’ve been through depression, watching my friends abuse themselves and be abused.
On top of all of this, I’ve come out of it. I’ve lived it; I’ve been it; I’m past it. Yet no matter how many times I repeat my wisdom of surviving it all to my friend, she merely says “Yeah, I know” and flutters back to the same thoughts, to the same tear-inducing patterns, and I’m left pulling at my face yelling, “WHY DON’T YOU LISTEN?!”
Siddhartha lays it straight for me: Buddha reached “nirvana” by walking the path, falling a lot, questioning the hope, and only because of this, found peace.
I want to help because I’ve been there and don’t want my friend to feel the pain I went through, but she has to in order to learn. My knowledge on body issues, girl drama or family issues “did not come through a teaching!”
Advice doesn’t make a learning experience, living it does.
My dear friend in high school can only reach peace by discovering it herself, and each person’s peace is different.
We can only reach our nirvana by walking our paths, even the painful ones, to the ends and finding the light on our own. Some good intentioned people may offer us a map now-and-again, but we aren’t entitled to use it, and sometimes it’s beneficial to learn the hard way.
I will keep living it, being it, and moving past it in every aspect of my life.
It’s the only way I will learn and know.
Can teachings help us: Yes!
Will I keep giving advice? Duh.